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TOPIC: commuting

food / travel

Two-Track Nation: What Italy's Trains Say About The Limits Of Progress

Crossing Sicily by train can take as long as flying from Rome to New York. The tracks and carriages are outdated, the trains rarely leave on time. Meanwhile, the country's high-speed train lines are state-of-the-art and decidedly punctual. It's a metaphor (and more) for Italy's two-class society.


ROME — In the upscale lounges and silent carriages of the Frecciarossa high-speed train lines, which connect Rome to Milan non-stop, you can't even imagine the country's regional train lines.

They travel on another network of tracks, have different signs, are prisoners of narrower boundaries. Above all, they follow their own time schedules.

Italy is on two different time zones when traveling by rail: that of the streamlined convoys of Trenitalia and Italo that more or less respect what is promised on the departures board, and that of regional trains, which subvert all expectations by questioning not only the “when” (it will arrive) but also the “if.”

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Buenos Aires, How To Bring The Suburbs Into The City

BUENOS AIRES — The daily arrival of droves of people to work in Argentina's capital has economic benefits, since these commuters are also consumers who spend their money on goods and services inside the city. But that windfall is more than cancelled out by increased spending on education, health, maintenance of public spaces and other elements that must be paid from city coffers.

This reality is leading the Buenos Aires government and some city experts to push for policies that encourage people coming from beyond the exterior thoroughfare General Paz Avenue and Matanza River to simply live inside the city.

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